Just Sugar (Cookie) me up for Valentine’s Day!

When things say they are the best, I have to try them. Like Genos and Pats cheese steaks, they both say they are the best so I have to try both. And you know what my outcome was? They are both the same. But today was different. I was not looking for cheese steaks, I was looking for the best cake-like sugar cookie there is.Image

You know the sugar cookies that come prepackaged in the store with the pretty frosting? That was exactly what I was looking for. I found one recipe online that claims to be an exact replica, but I don’t have two days to let the dough chill in my fridge, I have about thirty minutes.

Finally I found one: “THE BEST SUGAR COOKIES”. Well, the best? Hmph, I don’t think so. I had to tweak the recipe, but don’t worry three batches later, I got it.

Not the best, THE PERFECT SUGAR COOKIE (and frosting)!!!

Cookie Ingredients:                                                                                                         

2/3 Cup butter, room temp

¾ cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all purpose flour

Frosting ingredients:

½ cup butter (one stick)

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups powder sugar

3 tablespoons heavy cream

several drops of food coloring of your choice

sprinkles (if you feel obligated)

Directions:

  1. With an electric mixer in a large bowl mix butter on a medium to high speed for 30 Imageseconds. Add the sugar, baking powder, and salt and mix till combined. Beat in the egg, milk and vanilla. Add the flour one up at a time beating it as you add the two cups. Divide the dough in half, and cover (I put in a gallon size zip block in two balls). Chill in the fridge for thirty minutes or until its easier to work with.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375. On wax paper place one ball of dough, place another sheet of wax paper on top of the ball of dough and flatten with  roller (I used tinfoil due to lack of wax paper). Flatten to about 1/4inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut the desired shape. Place the cutouts 1 inch apart on a parchment lined pan (if you don’t have parchment paper you can just use an ungreased cookie sheet).
  3. Bake for about 8 minutes, just when the edges start to turn a light brown take out of the oven. Place on a wire rack to cool. Wait until cool to frost.

(ONLY MAKES 18 COOKIES)

Frosting directions:

  1. With the electronic mixer cream together the butter and the butter and the vanilla
  2. Slowly add the powder sugar and beat until smooth.
  3. Add in the heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the desired spreading consistency.
  4. Add in food color, mix, and take finger and test it out… I mean, Spread on cookies with knife.

This came out fabulously but some things I learned on this adventure are: don’t put a pan that just came out of the oven on a zip block, it will melt it and don’t put the mixer on super-duper fast right after putting powder sugar in, it will go everywhere.

ENJOY.

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Cup O’ Cake with a Side O’ Science

Chemical compounds (or actually chemistry in general) were never my strong point. I never understood why certain things could not go together, what made elements positive or negative or why it was frowned upon to spell things from the periodic table of elements. Science and I are not cut out for each other.

Baking and I however, we go hand in hand. In a way baking is like science: specific measurements, following directions to a T, and adding things in a specific order so you don’t cause an explosion because apparently that (while amusing) is frowned upon also.

Science at work

Science at work

My first revelation that science and baking are similar was when I was in third grade, the stereotypical volcano experiment. Red food coloring + vinegar + Baking soda = one pretty sweet volcano. Even at the cute little age of nine I realized that baking soda and vinegar were two ingredients that we cook with on a pretty regular basis, and I was convinced that I would blow up if I ever ate the two together.  When I was teaching this experiment to my younger cousin a few years ago I was trying to explain what ingredients we had to use, but he had a different idea.  Instead of the standard vinegar and baking soda we used Mentos and Coke; it had the same (yet stickier) result.

Today I am going to teach you a miracle of science: Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake. It is the perfect treat for when you are banging your head against the table trying to remember those annoying chemical formulas and you wish you could just make up your own.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake

MMMMMMM.

MMMMMMM.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon of sugar

2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon oil

Some chocolate chips

1 tablespoon of peanut butter

Directions:

Mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt until mixed and all the clumps are out. Stir in the milk and oil until smooth. Throw in the chocolate chips and mix them around a bit. Finally put the peanut butter in but make sure you get it under some of the wet mixture.  Put it in the microwave for about a minute, let cool for a few seconds and eat as fast as possible.

Science is pretty cool isn’t it? You can turn a list of several ingredients into a masterpiece of edible art. Now if only my professors would accept my homework in the form of mug cakes.

Look at that melted peanut butter.

Look at that melted peanut butter.

Not so on-the-go, On-the-go Breakfast

Time check: thirty minutes to class. Eah, I’ll drive to the nearest convince store and get a coffee and something (probably loaded with calories) to munch on.  BETTER PLAN!!!! How about a not so on-the-go, but still kinda on-the-go breakfast? Its saves you money, you don’t have to go outside, and in a world where looks are everything, it saves you from putting on a few pounds.

Its easy to take snacks from your favorite convince store and turn them into a homemade treat made healthier  and made your way. Today I will be taking my favorite convince store, Wawa, and turning there chocolate banana cream smoothie into my breakfast on-the-go. Wawa’s chocolate banana smoothies are so good I will drive five miles out of the way, into center city, during a gang fight to get one, yeah there that good. But, MINES BETTER! I took Wawas concept, and added PEANUT BUTTER! This way my life is spared and I get what I want.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie:

what you need:

1 Blender (preferably cleaned out from your margaritas last night, but hey I’m not here to tell you how to live your life, just what to eat)

1 Cup of ice cubes

1/2 to 1 cup of Milk  of any kind (If you want a thicker smoothie only put 1/2 to 3/4 cup of milk in, if you want it less thick put 1 cup of milk)

1 Banana (Frozen or fresh)

1 tablespoon of Peanut Butter (Or more, whatever makes you happy)

1 tablespoon of Chocolate syrup ( if you love chocolate add 2 or 3) 

Directions:

1. Pour the ice and the milk into the blender

2. Blend the mixture on medium until most of the ice is crushed

3. Add in the banana, peanut butter, and chocolate syrup

4. Blend on medium speed until desired thickness

5. Pour in a glass and enjoy.

WARNINGS: Due to bad personal mistakes I feel as if I need to add these

  1. Seriously, clean out your blender. Tequila may sound like a good idea at 8am, but it doesn’t taste so great with this smoothie.
  2. Keep the lid on your blender, you do not want to clean up that mess (nor does your roommate).
  3. Do not poke mixture with a knife, in the blender, while the blender is on. Actually, don’t poke anything with a knife, put the knife down and take a step back.

Chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie

After drinking your smoothie, the day is yours. Feel free to run around and boast to all your friends that you made a kick ass not so on-the-go, on-the-go breakfast.